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CERTIFICATION AGAINST FORUM SHOPPING

Torres vs de Leon

G.R. No. 199440 January 18, 2016

J. Peralta

Alma de Leon, as Sec-Gen of Red Cross filed a memorandum charging Torres, the Chapter
Administrator of Gen San, with Grave Misconduct for violating Red Cross Financial Policies on
Oversubscription in the amount of P4.3M. De Leon issued Torres’ one month suspension after
investigating and denied Torres’ MR. Her appeal to the CSC was dismissed. Torres filed petition for
review under Rule 43 with the CA was dismissed. Before the SC, she assails, amongst others, that
the comment filed by de Leon before the CA is defective because it has no verification and
certification against forum shopping.

Issue: Whether the comment is defective?

No. The lack verification and a certificate of non-forum shopping, such is inconsequential because
a comment is not an initiatory pleading but a responsive pleading. The required certification
against forum shopping is intended to cover an "initiatory pleading," meaning an "incipient
application of a party asserting a claim for relief. A comment, required by an appellate tribunal,
to a petition filed with it is not a pleading but merely an expression of the views and observations
of the respondent for the purpose of giving the court sufficient information as to whether the
petition is legally proper as a remedy to the acts complained of.

Uy vs CA

G.R. No. 173186, September 16, 2015

J. Jardeleza

Private respondent, Naval-Sai discovered that her parcels of land were subject to a petition for
recovery by the petitioner who has in possession of a void deed of sale bearing her void signature.
Hence her action for Reconveyance was later on an Amended Complaint asserting to declare
void the deed of sale.

Petitioner asserts, in her Answer, that it was a valid contract and that jurisdiction has never been
acquired over the parties and the subject matter because the certification against forum
shopping in the Amended Complaint was defective, for having been merely signed by Naval-
Sai's counsel.

RTC dismissed. CA stated that there was substantial compliance with the requirement considering
that the original complaint was signed by Naval-Sal herself.

Issue: Whether the CA erred.


No. There was substantial compliance and there is a circumstance or a compelling reason to relax
the rules on certification against forum shopping.

A certification against forum shopping is a peculiar and personal responsibility of the party, an
assurance given to the court or other tribunal that there are no other pending cases involving
basically the same parties, issues and causes of action. It must be executed by the party-pleader,
not by his counsel. If, however, for reasonable or justifiable reasons, the party-pleader is unable to
sign, he must execute a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) designating his counsel of record to sign
on his behalf.

Phil Health (PHIC) vs Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital

G.R. No. 193158 November 11, 2015

J. Peralta

PHIC filed a complaint for administrative offense against OLLH for filing two claims of Phil Health
benefits for the same patient, same diagnosis and same confinement period. OLLH' s proposition
that the petition should be dismissed outright for PHI C's non-compliance with Section 5, Rule 7 of
the Rules on certification against non-forum shopping because the Board Resolution 695 of Phil
Health did not indicate Canaveral, the VP of Legal Services, as duly authorized to sign the
verification and certification against forum shopping at the time of the filing of the petition.

Issue: Whether the case should be dismissed outright?

No. Two prior resolutions attached in the Reply of PHIC designates, among others, the Vice-
President for Legal Services Group "to sign on all verifications and certificates of non-forum
shopping of all cases involving the Corporation, whether to be filed in court, administrative
agency or quasi-judicial body.”

Jurisprudence dictates that we shall rule that there is substantial compliance on the part of PHIC.
Aside from the submission, albeit belatedly, of the resolutions, Canaveral, by virtue of his office, is
definitely in a position to verify the truthfulness and correctness of the allegations in the petition.